Force of Nature Productions invites you for an evening filled with masterful acting and a dramatic reintroduction to an author you only thought you knew helmed by Duffy Hudson.
Presented by Force of Nature Productions
Artistic Director Sebastian Munoz at the
Actors Workout Studio, 4735 Lankershim Blvd. in North Hollywood, CA 91602.
Performances take place at 8pm on Sundays, September 29, October 6 and October 13, 2019.
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased in advance at www.fonprods.tix.com
"All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream"
Edgar Allan Poe was one of the foremost American writers of the 19th century, and his significance and importance to literature are still felt to this day. Ahead of his time, he is often credited to be the first to try to make a professional living as a writer. He is best known for his tales of the macabre and poetry. He also was one of first to write the short story, detective fiction, and crime fiction in the United States.
Duffy Hudson brings a masterclass of a performance in his one-man show now playing at Actors Workout Studio in NorthHollywood. Imagine my surprise to see the show start and be greeted by Duffy himself, not the imposing tortured soul I saw in the promotional photos. I certainly thought this had to be the right guy for he is also the voice of Poe at The Poe House and Museum in Fordham, N.Y.. Duffy begins the show by explaining a bit of his own introduction to Poe, how his Father was the initial impetus introducing him to The Raven when he was nine years old, and at that moment would begin his life long affinity with the master of the macabre. Duffy is an excellent raconteur and quite affable, so the beginning of the show doesn't feel out of place. I don't recall ever seeing something like this before, an actor changing into the role on stage, he spoke with such commitment and confidence like that of a professional who has performed the show over a thousand times.
There he stood, his costume now wholly assembled and wearing the clothing we are all familiar with: a slender dark suit. Just like a magician asking us if we are ready for the trick to be performed, Duffy invites us to take a breath and prepares ourselves. The audience does, and darkness overtakes the intimate theatre.
After the blackout, we are graced with the living embodiment of Poe himself. The attention to detail and how quickly the change occurred was astounding and nothing short of magical. No longer were we in the presence of Duffy, but transported back to 1849 and speaking with Poe himself. The attention to detail within the transformation is tremendous from the nuance of the movement to his accent and speech cadence, he outright breathes differently as if the physical body is no longer the same, some thing he inhabited just moments ago.
The rest of the roughly hour-long show is such a treat to enjoy, we hear a little about Poe's backstory, his life as an orphan, the conflicts he had with his foster father and the tremendous amount of grief he experienced in his life. The loss of his mother, stepmother, and close childhood friend to the ravaging grip of Tuberculosis serves to inspire his overwhelming sense of melancholy in his later literary work.
Throughout the course of the performance, we are presented with three of Poe's greatest hits: "The Tell-Tale Heart," the timeless classic "Annabel Lee," inspired by losing his dear wife and, of course, "The Raven" one of his most celebrated works. I walked away with such a new appreciation for the aforementioned poems and Poe's ability to make the words feel visceral.
I can't imagine a better way to kick off this Halloween season than with this fantastic tribute to Edgar Allen Poe with Duffy Hudson.